Hall, BYU get last word

PROVO, Utah — Max Hall wanted to be clear: He really, really doesn’t like Utah.

The Brigham Young quarterback burned his in-state rival with a touchdown pass in overtime, then blasted them with scathing comments after the 18th-ranked Cougars’ 26-23 victory over the No. 22 Utes.

Hall redeemed himself from a year ago, when Utah intercepted him five times in a 48-24 blowout at Salt Lake City. Hall said Saturday he was still upset with the way his family was treated by Utes fans.

“I don’t like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, their fans. I hate everything,” Hall said. “It felt really good to send those guys home.”

Hall’s blunt remarks will probably draw a reprimand from the Mountain West Conference, but he didn’t seem too concerned. The Cougars (10-2, 7-1) beat the Utes (9-3, 6-2) for the third time in four years, and it was the last regular-season game of the senior’s career.

“I think the whole university and their fans and the organization is classless,” Hall said. “They threw beer on my family and stuff last year and did a whole bunch of nasty things. I don’t respect them and they deserved to lose.”

Hall threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Andrew George in overtime, setting off a celebration that covered the field with jubilant, blue-clad fans.

Instead of a high-powered shootout between potent offenses, the defenses dominated. Utah held BYU to 120 yards in the second half, but the Cougars kept the Utes to 298 total.

“For it to come down to an overtime play was just a perfect scenario for a big college rivalry,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

Hall found George open for a quick dump-off over the middle and George had nobody between him and the goal line, hugging the ball with both hands as he eyed the end zone.

George’s teammates piled onto him, then the Cougars’ fans stormed down from the stands.

“I couldn’t breathe. My shoulder was like up by my head, but it’s awesome,” George said. “If that’s what happens when you catch a game-winning TD, I’ll take it.”

The game was decided by a touchdown or less for the 11th time in 13 meetings.

Joe Phillips kicked five field goals for Utah, including a 40-yarder with 29 seconds left that forced the overtime. The Utes had the first possession of OT and had to settle for another kick by Phillips.

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